Establishing And Maintaining Effective Marketing Relationships
Maintaining marketing relationships help maintain a sustainable flow of new business.
Clients, network contacts, suppliers and competitors can all contribute in some way to successful marketing. The overall effectiveness of these relationships depends upon mutual respect and personal trustworthiness
Professional competence also plays a role in attracting and serving clients.
Interpersonal Relationships With Clients & Contacts
Obviously maintaining marketing relationships with clients are among the most critical, if not the single most important, of all marketing essentials. It is the fee revenue generated from serving clients that allows us to continue to run our businesses and support ourselves and families.
Of equal importance are effective relationships with network of contacts. Not only do these people refer others to us, they can be an invaluable source of marketing information and research.
Individually and in combination with each other, ongoing effective relationships with clients and contacts represent an incredibly valuable non-balance sheet asset for all professionals.
The key to maintaining ongoing relationships with clients depends upon delivering the benefits that clients want and value. See What Is the Real Benefit That You Deliver to Clients?
Marketing Relationships With Suppliers
Not surprisingly, suppliers can, and often do, play an important role in professional services marketing. Engaged in the same market as we are, these people can offer unique insights and observations into developing trends. It’s like having another window or additional eyes and ears on your niche market.
By maintaining effective relationships with suppliers, it is probable that these people will play an important role in the successful marketing of professional services.
Marketing Relationships With Competitors?
Believe it or not, there are three ways in which competitors can make a positive contribution to our marketing.
First, they can serve as a model of what to do, and just as important,what not to do in marketing. If you like any competitors’ marketing, there is no reason that you can’t modify it for your own use.
On the other hand, if competitors’ marketing is offensive or ineffective, what can you learn from their experience to apply the same same concept more effectively?
Competitors can also be referral sources. From time to time most professionals encounter situations in which they cannot help individual clients for one reason or another. There might be a conflict of interest, time pressures or perhaps the lack of expertise or appropriate resources. Regardless of the reason, competitors can and frequently do refer their clients to each other.
By making referrals to each other, professionals are in effect expanding their ability to serve clients. In making these referrals professionals expand the services that they can provide but without adding corresponding business infrastructure.
The same factors that facilitate referrals can also make it possible for competitors to collaborate in serving individual clients. Like referrals, collaboration makes it possible expand the range of services offered without adding business infrastructure or costs.
Given appropriate planning and preparation, marketing relationships with competitors can help generate more business in ways never thought possible.